Charlotte Bronte published Jane Eyre on October 16, 1847 under the pseudonym, Currier Bell. The American edition appeared a year later.
The novel follows the classic Bildungsroman genre; structured as a coming-of-age story where Jane Eyre progresses from a young orphan to into a woman, and the reader follows the heroine's character development, emotional travails, and moral development.
The novel's setting is an unspecified location in northern England and famously travels through five distinctive stages: 1) Jane's childhood where, as an orphan at Gateshead Hall she is tormented by her cousin John; 2) she is then sent away to a charity school, Lowood School; 3) her governorship at Thornfield Hall where she falls in love with Edward Rochester; 4) her time with the Rivers family where she receives her first marriage proposal; 5) and finally her reunion and marriage to her beloved Rochester.
This novel is immensely popular and widely read in English speaking high schools around the world.
Charlotte Bronte dedicated the novel to William Makepeace Thackeray.